Of course, but usually they base themselves on existing material.It's not always about scenes, it can be about relationships between characters and how they grow and develop. Or how they change for the worse. Fans do it all the time, not just with this particular pairing.
Yeah, but for me the difference between what is seen and what is not seen is kind of fundamental. To put it plainly, we don't see a scene where Spike expresses a lack of care for Dawn after S5. However, we have scenes of Dawn asking if Spike wasn't going to be around anymore in Seeing Red, which suggests that he has been more or less "around" + Spike continuing to call her affectionate nicknames in the same episodes and at least twice in S7. So even with the notion that absence of evidence gives us free reign to imagine things however we want, we have more stuff in the "he still cares" camp than the "he only cared about her to get in Buffy's pants" camp.They're speculation on 'what is seen' (or in this case what is absent from what we expect to see) and what we can interpret about the characters from the that.
No but you're basing the idea that he never really cared about her based on a general lack of material -- which to me is too neutral, even without taking into account my examples above.If I said 'well, Spike and Dawn don't get along because 'Spike shouted at Dawn off-screen sometime after Flooded and that's why they never interact closely again'; that would be 'making things up' based on nothing much.
The writing makes it pretty clear that Buffy and Xander are too wrapped up in their own stuff (Existential angst and wedding panic respectively), whereas Tara is Willow's girlfriend and is a much more direct victim of her actions, and Giles is more distant and has better capacity to notice this kind of thing (esp since he himself has had similar issues in his youth). Again, you may think it's not enough or not IC but it's accounted for.t's incredibly mild; Willow accidentally wiped all their memories with magic but its okay because she was only trying to wipe some people's memory with magic. Tara up and leaves and the others are 'having a conversation'?
It's tepid enough writing to warrant much fan speculation as to what's going on, for many a fan. Maybe Willow cast another spell...
See above, what little interaction we had post S5 showed that he cared; also, again, lack of evidence for one thing is not proof that the opposite is true. If we do as you say and base ourselves on their previous interactions, then the conclusion should go even more towards the idea that he still cares. Willow doesn't interact much with Dawn either, but nobody is asking whether she ever truly gave a damn about her.But you just said that we can use previous seasons to look for reasons, like with what was foreshadowed with Giles, so why not with Dawn and Spike? He had scenes with her in S5 that were great and showed a different side to both of them and then their relationship kinda vanished until what? Season 9. That's notable.
Meh, I don't know if I'm making sense anymore.
TL;DR : there isn't much to base ourselves on to truly go one way or another, and what we do get seems to be more indicative of Spike really caring about Dawn, but being either too taken with Buffy (or pushed back into the shadows) in S6 or being too ashamed of what went down in SR in S7.